South Africa presses FIFA over World Cup elimination goal

ZURICH (AP) — South Africa’s soccer federation has formally complained to FIFA about a referee’s decision to award a penalty kick in a 1-0 loss that ended the team’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

“FIFA has received a complaint from the South African FA in relation to this matter and will review it,” soccer’s world body said Tuesday.

Sports bodies and tribunals typically do not intervene to act against field-of-play decisions by match officials.

South Africa was eliminated Sunday when it lost the final qualifying group game 1-0 at Ghana, which topped the table on a goals-scored tiebreaker.

Ghana scored from a first-half penalty kick awarded by the referee from Senegal for a challenge judged to have been a foul despite little contact being obvious on television replays. Ghana advanced to a playoffs round in March.

South Africa has increased its influence in world soccer since billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe was this year elected president of the Confederation of African Football. It elevated Motsepe to become one of FIFA’s eight vice presidents.


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